If you adore the sea for example, there is no point settling in the middle of the country. If you like a bit of life and buzz, find out where the nearest town is and how you are going to get there.
Portugal is a varied country that covers over 92,000 km², offering diverse attractions. It’s a good idea to think about what is important to you in terms of region and location – if you adore the sea for example, there is no point settling in the middle of the country. If you like a bit of life and buzz, find out where the nearest town is and how you are going to get there. Research as much as you can about what each season has to offer. In many rural locations, the atmosphere in the summer can be very different from that in the winter.
UK buyers tend to buy property in the central part of the Algarve coast in the south of the country, with the most popular developments between Faro and Albufeira.
The western Atlantic coast, from the Costa Verde in the north to the Costa Azul in the south, has a wealth of natural beauty and a number of excellent resorts, long-popular with the Portuguese and Spanish and now firmly in the overseas property buyer’s sights. Inland Portugal has traditional rural homes available, both in rundown condition and beautifully restored, at very reasonable prices. Just remember to factor in realistic restoration costs if you decide to go that route.
Lisbon and Porto are two cities with cultural urban appeal for those looking for the city life or an investment property. Other cities such as Braga and Coimbra are also lovely – Coimbra is of course a university town with investor appeal for that reason if no other.
In more recent times, the market has become more organised and transparent to buyers, aided by the government who see this as a positive step forward. Interest is starting to shift away from the holiday ‘hot spots’ into the relatively untouched beauty of the countryside. There is a lot to offer those looking to relocate here, and an opportunity to acquire a fairly priced property which should perform well in the future.
More intrepid buyers, and those looking to pay a little less – sometimes a LOT less - for more, have been looking further east and west along the Algarve coast, as well as the so-called Silver and Green Coasts up the western coast of Portugal. The most adventurous are even casting their nets into the plains and mountains of the countryside.
Portuguese developers have recently cottoned on to the attraction of properties with easy or inclusive access to golf courses. It seems that the words ‘golf course’ are a magic charm to guarantee a really good investment in the country. In the longer term, though, it seems likely that low prices coupled with attractive locations such as Obidos, Evora and Coimbra will encourage more people to settle in other parts of the country. Property purchases in Portugal already seems to be mainly a matter of lifestyle choice over investment strategy and this is unlikely to change in the near future.
We have put together a list of questions to ask yourself when looking for your perfect location:
- Do you have an idea about the region you would like to live in? The Western or Eastern Algarve, or the Silver Coast?
- Do you know what type of area you would like to live in? The countryside, a village, town, city or coastal resort?
- Do you want to be a tourist development, or a more residential area? Do you want to be amongst expats and foreigners, or somewhere more Portuguese?
- How close do you want to be to local amenities, such as bar, shops, restaurants, local market, beach, marina?
- What sort of distance do you want to be from the airport?
- Are there adequate pharmacy and medical facilities in the area?
- What other facilities do you need? Schools? Entertainment? Gym?
- Will you need to use public transport?
We have looked in detail at every region of Portugal, and have put together a few notes on the most popular areas – how to get there, the geography, local traditions and some top tips to help you!